Chicago Activists Celebrate Defeat of Anita Alvarez, Prosecutor Soft on Police Killings


During the latest Super Tuesday, black Chicago activists flew banners across the city skyline criticizing Mayor Rahm Emanuel and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez for their shameful response to the police killing of 17 year-old Laquan McDonald. The banners read: “Chicago Stands with Laquan, Hillary Stands with Rahm#ByeAnita #ByeRahm” as the activist group Assata’s Daughter’s decried both Alvarez and Emanuel while also criticizing Hillary Clinton for not condemning Mayor Emanuel strongly enough. While the Democratic front-runner Clinton narrowly won Illinois against challenger Bernie Sanders (along with big victories elsewhere), Anita Alvarez conceded to challenger Kim Foxx, who prevented Alvarez from a third term.

While the Laquan McDonald shooting, and subsequent cover-up, has been widely publicized and is seen as the impetus for Alvarez’s electoral downfall, an investigation by The Daily Beast found that Alvarez failed to prosecute 68 police officers that killed civilians. Even more shocking is the fact that these decisions were seemingly made without any documentation explaining the decision to forego any prosecution.

In another controversial police shooting case, Alvarez charged an off-duty police officer with only involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Rekia Boyd, an unarmed 22 year-old black woman. Judge Dennis Porter cleared Chicago police detective Dante Servin of involuntary manslaughter, ruling that the shooting was intentional, so Porter couldn’t be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Critics accused Alvarez of purposefully undercharging the detective, allowing him to go free after the tragic death of Boyd. Mayor Emanuel recommended that detective Servin be fired, but he somehow remains on the job. Chicago agreed to pay Boyd’s family $4.5 million as compensation for Rekia’s death.

Kim Foxx, who won the Cook County State’s Attorney job from Alvarez with over 60% of the vote, stated that her victory was about “turning the page” and that, “The need to rebuild a broken criminal justice system here in Cook County is not work that should be taken lightly.” From their statement following Foxx’s defeat of Alvarez, Assata’s Daughters made it clear that they will be watching, as will surely Black Lives Matters and other civil rights group demanding criminal justice reform in Chicago and across the nation.

The full statement released by Assata’s Daughters following the defeat of Alvarez:

State’s Attorney Anita Alverez Loses Re-Election After Tireless Campaigning from Chicago’s Black Youth

“Chicago Black youth have kicked Anita Alvarez out of office. Just a month ago, Anita Alvarez was winning in the polls. Communities who refuse to be killed, jailed, and abused without any chance at justice refused to allow her to be re-elected as State’s Attorney.

“We did this for Rekia…

“We did this for Laquan…

“We won’t stop until we’re free and Kim Foxx should know that as well.”


About Assata’s Daughters

Assata’s Daughters is an intergenerational collective of Black women and girls. This demographic represents both the largest growing prison population and those leading protests against state violence in Chicago.

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For photos of today’s #ByeAnita banners visit:



Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.